by f. maiello


Assuming the reader is somewhat familiar with quantum theory, the following is an attempt to establish a pragmatic connection between the two methods (physics and metaphysics).

Although most physicists agree that the premise of quantum mechanics is factual (since it is supported not only mathematically but experimentally), a consensus on a viable world conception (view of reality) is yet to be reached. And considering that the birth of its theory was essentially in the 1920's, that 75 years hence still finds an inability to reach a consensus, suggests something vital is lacking. In fact, few are prone to even discuss it, lest they be unwittingly tossed on terrifyingly unstable ground (as if the 'ground' their new theory exposes is itself any more stable!).

This is not to undermine the literally miraculous caliber of genius responsible for the development of this theory. Rather, a critique is forthcoming regarding what appears to be a remarkably simple oversight in the theory's philosophical application. That is to say, once the theory was developed, tested and substantiated, it was then applied to the 'real world' along with the standard phenomenological questions surrounding it, resulting in unexpectantly deep answers to shallow questions and, unfortunately, shallow and confusing answers to the deep and meaningful questions. Probably the most significant of these questions deals with the origin or nature of the world we experience; and, antecedent to this, the origin/nature of the mechanism experiencing this world: our human self.

Consequently, eight major propositions (quantum reality conceptions) have been offered. Two of the most popular were derived from the so-called Copenhagen interpretation [propounded by Niels Bohr] which asserts that

Then Werner Heisenberg came along and further embellished Bohr's view by proposing the idea that something has to be responsible for creating sensual phenomena, and that something--nearly impossible to accurately describe--thrives in a kind of plastic state of potentiality; an in-between state flanked by possibilty and reality (he referred to it as 'quantum potentia')...until someone comes along to perceive or measure it, whereupon it suddenly manifests with flawless precision replete with elaborately verifiable Newtonian mechanics.

Now, contrary to what most people--lay and professional--would believe, these propositions are unmistakably approaching the basic tenets of metaphysics (Note: NOT the metaphysics unique to classical philosophy, nor that of the New Age movement--instead, what may be referred to as deep metaphysics, discoverable through unalloyed introspection). Yet the physicists have consistently overlooked one critical factor, which addresses the foundation of their entire philosophical argument: the causal reality of the observer.

It's relevant to point out that this factor relates to the quintessential theme underlying all of metaphysics: the reality of the Self. However, the distinction here should be made that what the physicists are alluding to is actually a limited/false counterpart to the Self: which is the ego acting as the 'observer' [in this context]...and in this sense it is severely bound and altered by illusion. That is, it is 'observing' nothing more than a projection of its own nature which, by definition, is isolated and cut off from the rest of Life, manifesting as a fractional [albeit holographic] emissary of the Universal Mind. A number of theoretical physicists have been aware of this--notwithstanding conflicting semantical nuances at apparent odds with the metaphysical view--including Heisenberg, John von Neumann, and others.

This proposition--re the elementary nature of the observer--was provided through the [markedly less popular] concept: "Consciousness creates reality." And with the advent of this view the physics community became sharply divided. The majority--of which most sided with the Copenhagen interpretation, while the rest adopted other themes--consequently undermined or simply ignored the factor of the SOURCE of the observer (viz. consciousness itself); whereas the minority ascribed to it unreservedly.

A suspicious component in the entire controversy is shrouded in the dynamic of this minority--the why and the who (ie: why is this a minority, and who are its members?). In addressing the 'why?', among other reasons, the notorious reluctance of the scientific mind to involve itself with matters that are intangible/abstract, is enough to close the door on any consideration for the role of consciousness, not to mention psychology. Nevertheless, their theory itself spawns concepts that symbolize the very essence of abstraction! Insofar as 'who are its members?', it's also curious [and ironic] that this minority includes some of the physics world's most illustrious personalities, including world-renowned mathematician John von Neumann, Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, H.P. Stapp, Walter Heitler, and Fritz London. In fact, many regard von Neumann's work, THE MATHEMATICAL FOUNDATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS as their quantum bible.

The fact remains, that the idea of the observer in the whole [Copenhagen] equation is assumed as a given. Its intrinsic reliability stands unchallenged--is accepted without question. And this is precisely where the entire thing is fatally flawed, along with the other derivative variations on this theme. Why? Simply because the entire scheme rests on an assumption: that the perception of the observer is infallible. Yet, when considered in this light, it should become immediately evident that if the reliability of the observer is even marginally compromised, the entire theory must also be commensurately compromised.

It can't be emphasized enough, how vital and pivotal the role of the observer plays in the entire drama of quantum physics. A house set on a swamp foundation won't stand for even a second! Similarly, no matter how meticulously measured, evaluated and categorized are the phenomena of the world, if the recorder that's gathering the data is flawed, how reliable can the data be? It's like picking apples all day, dropping them in your backpack--with yet an un-noticed hole in the canvas, and when your work is finally done you swing the sack down on the ground to discover not even a single fruit for all your painstaking labor! Now, in light of this--especially as it applies to literally countless manhours of research and development--can we afford to take the role of the observer for granted?! Don't we owe at least some of our time and effort toward investigating the value and function of our primary evaluating mechanism: our human Mind? Or does this represent such an awesome mystery so as to render us frozen in our tracks to even have the intestinal fortitude to apprehend it? Enter: the role of deep metaphysics.

Another very significant concept--which in of itself stands apart from quantum theory, yet was developed as a result of it--is known as non-locality. This states that objects or events are not isolated and unto themselves (local), but rather are integrated with [the totality] of all phenomena. This is the conclusion made possible by Bell's Interconnectedness Theorem, which was developed in response to the now famous EPR paradox **. Again, this corroborates with yet another axiom central to the metaphysical view: that multiplicity is merely an appearance projected out from the Unified Substratum.

It's interesting to note that Einstein--regarded by many as perhaps the most brilliant scientist of our time--being a staunch neo-realist, was therefore also categorized in [another] minority among physicists. And, although he was an outspoken pacifist (especially after the war), as well as an earnest seeker for truth, he ethically maintained a materialistic orientation to his philosophy of science and spirituality, which he regarded as part of an inherently unified field--of which he labored all his life to realize [via the representation of a singular mathematical formula***], yet failed to accomplish. Additionally, he basically discounted quantum theory and maintained--over many years in debating with Bohr--that it was yet possible for a realistic vision of the world, *as such* (viz. a world isolated and distinct from its creative source or causal substratum), to coexist with quantum facts. This clearly indicates how, among so many great minds, a number of them must yet be wrong-- which in turn proves that sheer illumination of the intellect, in of itself, doesn't guarantee any authentic discovery of reality. This has greater implications. Namely--and it should be obvious from this line of reasoning--that, as Kant was alluding to, reason itself, as a primary modality capable of reflecting on the a priori condition of reality, is fundamentally flawed, because it is hopelessly wrapped up in its own dynamic-- the human condition--to be capable of accurately witnessing the 'thing-in-itself'. Obviously this, at first glance, has a disconcerting ring of pessimism about it, and doesn't sound too encouraging re our ability to put our hands on 'the truth', which begs the question, "If this is so, then what modality can the human mind rely upon for a genuine apprehension of reality?" The 'answer' can be found in deep metaphysics. (Note: That the word 'answer' is in quotes will hopefully become evident as the so-called esoteric investigation ensues.)

Check out my Zero Mass Theorem


** The EPR Paradox: the Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen observation that [for three decades] challenged and claimed quantum theory to be an incomplete approach for apprehending nature. (Here's an attempt to state it, briefly/symbolically): By experiment, a pair of photons 20 feet apart were, at certain angles of measurement, spontaneously changing their polarity--identically so, thereby suggesting that either the speed of light would have had to have been broken in order for one photon to inform the other (utilizing the hitherto fictitious process of so-called 'superluminal signaling'), or some larger (macroscopic) communication was taking place (which tended to support Einstein's neo-realistic approach). Until Bell's Theorem proved the logical necessity of non-local interactions (transcending the notion of physical space-time limitation), resolving the EPR paradox (in Bell's words) "in the way which Einstein would have liked the least." BACK

***Unified Field Theory: A singular theory, yet undiscovered, that would 'explain it all'; a combining of forces in nature (ie: the strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational) into a single mathematical equation. This would perhaps facilitate our ability to interrelate energy from one very different-looking force to another, understanding how they interact; it would also presumably lead us into a more comprehensive insight into the nature of Creation itself. (It might be intriguing--if not curious--to report that metaphysics has long known the formula for the Unified Field; which, as best as I can devise it, reads: m = E(0)/c {mass equals energy times zero divided by the velocity of light or, more simply, m = 0}, which is obviously scientifically absurd, yet is replete with meaning if the so-called deep metaphysics is vigorously investigated. {Note: This formula is an attempt to transmit in boolean code that which is ineffable and, indeed, unknowable. Also, that it undoubtedly appears fantastic, please consider equally the implication that Life--in of itself and devoid of the uniquely human sense of familiarity surrounding it--is supremely fantastic...far more than any idea or event [within it] can ever convey! I refer to this as The Zero Mass Theorem.}) BACK


Further Reading:

Fabric of the Universe---Denis Postle
The Tao of Physics---Fritjof Capra
The Dancing Wu Li Masters---Gary Zukav
Cosmic Code---Heinz Pagels
Quantum Reality---Nick Herbert
The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics---Max Jammer
Other Worlds---Paul Davies
The Holographic Universe---Michael Talbot
The End of Physics---David Lindley



The statements herein are the opinion of the author. No claims are made therefore, expressly or otherwise, that there exists any correlation of ideas with any physicist/author cited, insofar as their being accurately and thoroughly expressed or specifically applicable in the context in which they are used. BACK


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